Hands On Science for kids OR is it just Theory?
So, do your kids love science books? If so, great! If not, well it may have something to do with interaction, and when I mean ‘interaction, I’m referring to hands on science fun. From the minute your child took his first steps, would be equivalent, in their eyes, like Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon. Have you found the remote yet? We’ve all been there. We know one thing for sure what kids love to do, other than to test our patience at times – is to explore and, occasionally break things. Most of the time, as parents we’d be annoyed about an expensive birthday toy your child has just broken in minutes to the hours you’ve spent at work to earn the money to buy them; but is it really their fault and toy manufacturer? Well, neither one.
The toy manufacturer made something that took an interest with your child in the first place, and the destruction of that toy? Well, at times this is a sign that your child is exploring. How? What, and Why? Right inside their minds are the millions of tiny neurons firing these synaptic signals of ‘how that planes, why doesn’t it fly when I pull off those wings, and hey! It’s now a rocket ship! Now, what can I do to make it fly better? Faster?
This is exactly what happened when my little boy took one of my model air-fix planes and threw it right out of the office window and to its dismay into the street below – no injuries to the passer-by, I might add. Now, as many aviation loving parents, they’d be kind of annoyed, but I stepped back and watched how he was puzzled in its inability to fly, then very quickly, I might add, raced forward as he had that ‘glint’ in his eyes to pick up another one from my office desk! I learned something amazing about his ability to really explore – and that on its own was amazing! Later in life, he grew up to continue with high flying grades.
As parents, we know kids learn and have a greater understanding of the world around them through hands-on interaction. As babies, one of the first skills we learn real fast is to ‘hold’. They master that skill later in life and in time they turn their attention to visual based stimuli or books with little to no interaction. Soon that ability to really understand what they’re trying to understand is lost, because the sensation to get a good ‘feel’ is lost too.
We need a balance.
I as many other parents have noticed teaching science is losing its ‘edge’ when it comes to engaging children into the fascinating world of science. Kids love to explore, so why take it away? Is it a combination of the lack of financial resources within Educational Institutions, and the greater concerns of hidden dangers in child safety? Marie Curie’s quoted, ‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less’.
This quote couldn’t be any closer to the truth when it comes to getting schools to confidently get their pupils to perform more hands-on experiments, without the fears of child safety.
Do you think your kids find science more interesting with hands on science activity?
Oliver and Wilber Wright specialised in bicycles, and it wasn’t long before they took their interests into aviation technology. Initially, with little knowledge but a huge imagination, they began to study aerodynamics in a practical sense, alongside the theory of wing structure and aviation.
They challenged the greatest minds of their time taking their ideas with more imagination and inspiration by looking at the flight of birds. As a result, on September 23, 1902, in a light breeze at Kitty Hawk, their plane successfully took the first steps towards modern-day aviation. Sad thing was, there weren’t enough people at that time to actually witness the fight of this greatest event of our time. There quote: “It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. Their knowledge came from the existing data, and the data they created through their own hands-on experimentation. That was the skill.
Now; What I’ve experienced is that teaching hands on science books alongside theory, within the classroom environment, my student’s grades have made a noticeable difference. It seems to make more sense that we endorse this combination of practical and theory to allow the level of the senses to be heightened.
I can only conclude that the introduction of more practical and theoretical science books, kids will become more inspired and keen to learn even more. I’ve found subconscious learning to be the best way to experience science. Additionally, We can easily find resources that have a good balance of affordability, practically effective and safe with the STEM-based attitude of learning with fun.
After all, if we don’t, we’ll continue working with one eye closed and destroy the real understanding of what we set out to do in the first place.